Katie Griffin Spotted in Realtor.ca Commercial

We heard about this one from an anonymous tip. Katie Griffin (Sailor Mars #1) can be seen in this amusing CREA/Realtor.ca commercial as one of two homeowners that unexpectedly encounter a SWAT team in their new house!

You can see the full commercial below:

The commercial was created by Toronto ad agency UNION.

We almost want to see a Flashpoint version with Stephanie Morgenstern too!

Anime North 2012: Con Report Part 1

Anime North

Toronto’s fan-run Anime North was crowded this year, with an attendance 20,000 anime fans. There was plenty to enjoy this year at the event, with activities that could appeal to all kind of anime fans.

The unseasonably hot weather prompted many fans to wear sunscreen and parasols became functional, not just a cosplay accessory. Convention organizers also ensured that a number of strategically placed water stations were available for attendees, staff, and guests to stay cool and hydrated all weekend. Many attendees were seen making use of the welcome refreshement, particularly shortly after entering the Toronto Congress Centre.

Upon entering the TCC, congoers could find the information desk, registration, weapons check, club tables, photographers, a couple event areas, and an entry which led to the shopping area containing the Artists’ Alley, Crafter’s Corner, a wrestling demonstration, and the ever-popular Dealers’ Room. Surrounding hotels housed other programming including panels, video screenings, gaming events, and special ticket events.

Getting to the convention on Friday afternoon (and the rest of the weekend) via TTC proved to be over-crowded.

(I highly recommend that congoers in future attempt to find an alternative method of getting to the convention each day aside from the popular #58 bus from Lawrence West station, or even consider staying at a hotel and splitting the cost of a room with friends. As it was, I found that traveling via this route through Lawrence West station was inefficient, with long lines of passengers and buses quickly filling to capacity. I will certainly try to make other arrangements for next year!)

As soon as I arrived on Friday afternoon and picked up my media kit and checked in at the panels office, I made my way to my first event of the weekend — my “Return of Sailor Moon” presentation.

I handed out one-inch Moon Chase buttons to most people in the audience and began my powerpoint presentation, which you can view here.

Please note that this presentation was last modified about a week prior to Anime North and does not include any news that has happened past late May 2012.

Fans seemed to quite enjoy the presentation and the two video clips I shared. Embedding video within the presentation didn’t work (but I have embedded them in this post below), so I shared two clips at the end: the Luna Splende video game trailer (in Italian) and the television commercial for Sailor Moon returning to TVB J2 in Hong Kong. The commercial from Hong Kong had everyone laughing about Sailor Mars’s unique weight loss technique and Tuxedo Mask as a waiter.

Here’s the Luna Splende video game trailer I shared:

And the commercial from Hong Kong:

Of course, at this presentation the question on everyone’s mind was (and still is) when is the Sailor Moon anime returning to the English speaking market? Sorry fans, we still have no news on that front! All I can say is that there is at least one distributor in talks to try to secure the rights for Canada and the US. In light of the recent announcement that there will be a new anime series premiering in Japan next year, we will also be keeping an eye on if this series would be included in a deal with the original anime series.

Other questions at the presentation included:

Why is Sailor Moon in her original costume but the other senshi wear their Eternal costumes on the comers of the new manga graphic novels?
I suspect Sailor Moon’s costume was the original version for recognizability, but I’m not sure why the others are in their Eternal outfits. Any ideas, Sailordees?

Where can Canadian fans find the new merchandise, and how much does it cost in Canada?
Aside from comic shops (if they don’t have something and it’s made by Great Eastern, ask if they can order it for you!) and Amazon.ca, fans can also try Hot Topic stores if there are any in their area. Unfortunately, there are very few Hot Topic locations in Canada (and only in Ontario). The prices get marked up a fair bit in Canada too. The one shirt I bought at a Hot Topic was $32 new (plus taxes), regular price. I think this is too much for a T-shirt, so I personally won’t be buying any more at regular price. Also, it would be nice to see Hot Topic appearing at conventions to sell merchandise to fans that are exclusive to Hot Topic. Fans may travel far for a convention, but rarely for a single shopping trip at a store.


We hope you enjoy the beginning of convention coverage for this year’s Anime North. More coming soon!

Dicembre Saluti Dall Italiano Sailor Moon

Forgive me Italian Moonies, if my grammar is incorrect! Given that it is December, fans shouldn’t really expect there to be any Earth-shattering Sailor Moon news by way of licenses yet. And there isn’t much going on in Japan either, save for a mention of a Tuxedo Mask cosplayer at Japan Pop Culture Festival 2010. Italy is still swarming with news of Sailor Moon – a new commercial was uploaded yesterday from DYNIT advertising the upcoming release of the first boxset in January. Since many of you can’t see it (and we managed to find a way to), we’re going to describe the commercial for you. Images of the anime play against the Japanese theme song. It begins with images of Sailor Moon‘s nails becoming polished flashing between screens that say “Le Guerriere” (The Warrior) “Che Vestono Alla Marinaretta” (Dressed Like a Sailor) “Sono Tornate” (Has Returned)! And then we hear Cristina D’Avena’s voice as Sailor Moon begins to transform. And then comes a screen advertising the uncensored release of Umino lifting up Haruna-Sensei’s skirt. As other images of the opening play, more words say that the video is remastered, and for the first time that the episode prologues and previews will be included with Italian subtitles. These will be on a separate DVD (we’re assuming, that the editors had some difficulties in lacing in the video for these previews and prologues since they were not dubbed with the regular episodes). Finally, Italian Moonies are going to get almost everything they missed out on the first time around (any of our readers in Italy heard anything new about the missing episode from R yet?). The important part to note, is that Naoko Takeuchi’s name/ Princess Naoko Planning is featured twice in this commercial (and we are happy, that finally people are being consistent with their crediting to her). It first appears (we have shown you above) near the end of the commercial with the logos of DYNIT and Toei Animation, and then at the very end alongside the Sailor Moon logo. Below, we have a screenshot of what the collector’s box is going to look like. We’re not sure if that package just on top of the discs is what the 3-disc holder looks like, or if it is a booklet. The one on the right is the bonus DVD with all the prologues and previews. For those of you who are in Italy and have not watched the commercial yet, click here!

Oh yeah, and Sailor Moon is still doing well in the ratings in Italy, holding the #5 spot. It is holding a market share even higher than The Simpsons!

Sera Myu Update – June 2010 (1 of 3)

Anri Onuki in Special Live Variety Extravaganza!

On July 19th, a special variety show will take place at the Aoyama Round Theatre, Tokyo. The show is called Pandora’s Ark Music X Paint Concert and will feature a harmony of live music, live painting, and story telling. There are a variety of different musicians appearing including guitarists, percussionists, a pianist and a signer, as well as an Erhu player! Among these, is Anri Ohnuki (Sailor Aluminum Siren in 2004) who will be performing a reading at this event. The release introduces her as appearing in Tokyo-Jima. She plays Mary Magdalene in the movie which also stars Tae Kimura (Fisheye from 1995-96) in the leading role! The show sounds like it should be a fun and interesting one to go to, so our readers who will be in Tokyo at the time should check this out!

Tae Kimura Shares Her Favorite Books and in New Commercials!

Speaking of Fisheye, she is sure up to a lot these days! In a recent interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, she was asked about what she likes on her bookshelf. She reveals that she likes to watch people in love, and by the way she talks she sounds like a real romantic! She watched a couple in a car lately, but she likes to watch lovers and surmise about their bond. She uses her observations and ideas when she has to act! Aside from romance novels, she also likes to read fantasy novels, especially those with heroes and heroines. When she reads these she likes dto dream of what the cast would be like! And thirdly, when it comes to classic fantasies, she has two favourites: Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. These are old childhood favorites of her, and she likes to feel like a kid again when she reads these. She especially loved these characters’ ability to float and fly in the air. She especially loves how Mary Poppins could clean a room in a snap!

Softbank is best-known for their dog mascot Oto-san! This white dog is brave, smart, friendly, and the cutest mascot we’ve ever seen. In fact he is so popular that in Japan you can get cell phone themes and other goodies like charms and toys in the dog’s likeness! In a recent series of commercials, Softbank has used the recent election as their inspiration for advertising some new plans. There are some mock debates and other situations featured in these commercials, and Tae Kimura can be seen in them. Look for the long-haired girl here in the commercials posted on June 3rd and 18th! This campaign will continue throughout the summer.

Sera Myu Sightings Late March 2010 – Part 2

Not too much to report now, but we thought we’d still report these since these actors were all featured in huge roles during Sera Myu!

Kenji Urai is a Prince!

Fresh off his win at the 44th Kinokuniya Theater Awards, Kenji Urai (Tuxedo Mask from 2001-2002) will be making an appearance in a stage musical, and he wil get to play a prince! Bara to Samurai: Goemon Rock Overdrive (Rose to Samurai: Goemon Rock Overdrive) began on March 18th in Tokyo, and will travel through to Osaka in April and May. The play takes place in the 17th century, about two pirates named Goemon and Ann. Lured by a reward, another pirate tries to kidnap Goemon, but captures Ann instead. Everyone finds out later that Annu is the long-lost daughter of the recently deceased King, and is set to rule over his kingdom. At her first party, Annu meets a prince named Charles from another country who falls in love with her, but Goemon isn’t ready to give her up easily. Kenji is playing Prince Charles, and has received some rave reviews from fans already over his performance! At a promotional event held earlier this month, the two leading cast members playing Ann and Goemon (Yuki Amami and Arata Furata) were excited for the chance to cosplay as pirates on stage!

Tae Kimura Presents at 33rd Japanese Academy Awards After Winning Year!

2009 was a great year for Tae Kimura (Fisheye in Sailor Moon SuperS musicals). She won two awards for her role in the critically acclaimed film All Around Us (including a Japanese Academy Award), and became well known around Japan. A few weeks ago, she appeared to present an award at the Japanese Academy Awards, and was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the Japanese film Zero Focus. This movie was about a mysterious disappearance of a woman’s husband. We have a photo of her at the awards featured here (in the brown dress). Unfortunately, she didn’t win, but we are still proud of everything she has achieved! Zero Focus will be released to DVD and BD this June. Fans can check out more information about the film in English here.

Maki Aizawa Goes Shopping and Has a Beauty Blog

Maki Aizawa (Loof Merrow in 2004) went for a little shopping trip with her friend, Yuko Ogura (another idol) before they had to go to work. This for some strange reason was covered by the tabloids (*sigh*). They went to one of the most trendiest stores in Tokyo called ISBIT DAIKANYAMA which is very popular among idols for the eclectic selection of clothing it carries. They tried on a few items and took some photos of themselves without makeup and went on their merry way (which included posts on both Yuko and Maki’s blogs). Maki is the girl on the right side of the photo we have posted here. Maki also started a beauty blog a few months ago which is slowly gaining some steam with her fans. She reviews beauty products that she uses.

Tabe Mikako in New Lipstick Commercial!

Tabe Mikako (Yaten Kou/Sailor Star Healer) is currently being featured in a new lipstick commercial in Japan for Orbis Rouge Crystal. This lipstick has special shine enhancers in it to make your lips sparkle. Orbis has two commercials for this product, the first one features Tabe putting the lipstick on and talking about how it makes her lips sparkle. The second one, features Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott playing a Chopin waltz off of her brand new album. Both aim to show that this lipstick will make you sparkle and shine at just the right moment! Fans can check out videos of both commercials here!

Anza Oyama a Matter of Weeks Away From South America!

Anza Oyama (Sailor Moon from 1993-1998) is the lead singer of Japanese metal band Head Phones President, and they are heading out for the first time to South America a month from now! They will be playing four shows in Brazil, and 3 of them are at anime conventions: the concert on April 24th will happen at Anime Hero!, then they will head off to Anime Osasco the next day, and then to Porto Allegre’s J-Party Ballads on the 30th. On May 2nd, they will finish their tour playing in Rio de Janeiro. We know our friends at SOS Brazil are very excited about this and we can’t wait to hear what they have to report! The band sings in English, and their style of music is definitely a departure from the cutesy songs fans know Anza best for singing in Sera Myu. Fans who want to give their music a listen can check out their MySpace! We wish Head Phones President the best of luck on their tour and we hope to see them perform in other places as well.